The Antarctica Project, promoted by Fundación Telefónica with the collaboration of the Regional Ministry of Education of the Region of Murcia (through Fundación Séneca), brings together different elements of educational innovation.
- Transmedia: Use of a powerful media combination, focused on the objectives of the project, with actors adjusted to the target present in audiovisuals, social networks and messaging to users. An attractive script based on a conspiracy against the Antarctic environment around which the scientific content has been organised. It is the first massive transmedia educational project carried out in our country.
- Gamification: Tailor-made design of a web environment with a graphic adventure core. A timeline that forces participants to solve the scientific tasks and enigmas set out in order to continue advancing and gain access to the game’s closed scenarios. The approach is in line, for example, with educational gamification dynamics designed by the prestigious professor Eric Klopfer of the MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program (http://education.mit.edu). The Antarctica Project was the first wide-ranging development of an educational serious game in Spain; until now there had only been isolated initiatives (not massive) using free and similar software. In Europe there is only one experience of this type, carried out in Belgium, the Ava and Trix (https://ava-trix.com), which seeks simple online experimentation for primary school students; however, Antártica also incorporates the link with science and active researchers.
- Scientific and technological vocations: The project has taken into account the results of recent research on key variables for the promotion of scientific-technological vocations, such as the perception of the social benefit of science and the normalisation of the figure of scientists (for this reason all the scientists who appear in the video game are real, they have been to Antarctica and their personal progression, their interest and motivations to carry out certain lines of research are shown because of their interest for society).
In its pilot application in the Region of Murcia, the Antarctica Project has had almost two thousand participating students. Being an educational project with a weekly activity maintained for three months, it has been possible to verify, among other things, the sustained interest of the participants, which has allowed not only for there to be no drop-outs, but also for the number of participants to increase throughout the project. Antartica has been used by 465 teachers from 49 different secondary schools in the Region of Murcia, mostly public schools. The reception of the teachers has been excellent, many of them expressing the high interest aroused among their students, telling specific cases of students who had become “hooked” again to science subjects thanks to the Project.